Road traffic accidents

Heavy Traffic Moving At Speed On The M6 Motorway In EnglandA road traffic accident takes place when a vehicle collides with something else, be it another vehicle, pedestrian, animal, road debris or other stationary obstruction. If you are involved in a collision like this, you must stop, even if you did not cause the accident. Not stopping when you have hit another person, car or other property is a criminal offence and, in the case of injury or death, you could be sent to prison.

You must give your details to the other driver, including your name and address, the name and address of the owner of the vehicle (if you are not the owner) and the registration number of the vehicle.

If someone is injured as a result of the accident, you must report the incident to the police within 24 hours.

Sometimes, the other driver may decide after inspecting damage that it is not worth exchanging details. In that case, it is still important to at least make a note of the other car’s registration number. This is because the damage to either your or the other driver’s car, or yourself or the other driver, may not become obvious until later.

Road traffic accidents and insurance 

If you drive a vehicle on the road, you must have motor insurance, or at least be covered on someone else’s insurance. The minimum you are required to have by law is Third Party Insurance. This covers an accident causing damage or injury to any other person, vehicle, animal or property. It will not cover repair to your own vehicle. It is illegal to drive without at least Third Party Insurance.

What if I was hit by a driver who did not stop?

The Motor Insurance Bureau (MIB) is a scheme that provides compensation for victims of hit and run accidents. If the driver that has hit you or your vehicle leaves the scene and is not traced, the MIB will consider a claim for compensation for both personal injury and property damage. This scheme will only pay a fixed amount of £500 plus VAT towards any legal fees.

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